What can a fertility MOT actually tell you?

Emma Harpham in partnership with Randox Health  |   10 Jan 2024

There’s so much out there when it comes to assessing fertility.

Just a quick Google will probably leave you with all sorts of questions; where should I be looking to have a fertility MOT? Should I book into a fertility clinic, or order a home test kit? What could the results tell me, and where do I start – and stop? 

Partnering with the medical team Randox Health, the UK and Ireland’s leading healthcare diagnostics company, we’ve collected the top fertility-impacting factors to check off as part of a really thorough fertility MOT – so you don’t have to!

Randox Health’s range of comprehensive female hormone and fertility health tests are unrivalled, and, specifically, their Fertility Health Test is designed to be a one-stop shop for people with ovaries who are trying to conceive (TTC), or thinking about having a baby.

Before we dive in – you can get 10% OFF your Randox Health in-clinic health test with code TRB10, right now.

Read on as we break down fertility testing together, as well as the parameters they recommend to check off your list, if you’re looking to get tested in 2024.

What is fertility testing looking like, in 2024? 

When it comes to fertility testing in 2024, the gold standard at most fertility clinics still features ovarian reserve testing at its core – especially for those turning to IVF.

To estimate your ovarian reserve, aka the number of eggs you have left in your ovaries, your AMH (anti-müllerian hormone) is measured with a simple blood test, usually done in combination with an antral follicle count (AFC), where the number of small follicles in both of your ovaries is counted via a specialist fertility ultrasound.

Meanwhile, the use of home testing kits is on the rise. Home fertility testing can be so convenient if you’re just curious about your fertility, and they’re also great for putting specific pieces of the reproductive health puzzle (think anything from ovarian reserve to vaginal microbiome) right into our own hands, without having to book in at a clinic.

But what if we get our results back, feel worried by the numbers we see, and find ourselves starting to frantically search through online fertility forums? What can AMH and ovarian reserve testing really tell us about our fertility? 

Here’s the lowdown, and why is more context is key, for so many of us.

fertility testing questions

What ovarian reserve testing can tell you

Ovarian reserve testing, including AMH levels, can reveal your proximity to menopause, and can also flag potential fertility-impacting conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). 

Why does this matter? Because your ovarian reserve directly impacts the success of fertility treatments such as egg freezing and IVF, where more eggs mean better odds. It can also help determine your likelihood of achieving pregnancy without treatment, too.

What ovarian reserve testing can’t tell you

Well, ovarian reserve testing just doesn’t give you the complete story.

While it’s great at sizing up the quantity of your eggs, it falls short on revealing egg quality, which is another really key player in the fertility journey. 

Why a thorough fertility MOT needs to look deeper

While ovarian reserve testing is a handy tool, it won’t give you a complete picture of your fertility – egg quality, as well as your thyroid, as well as your nutritional and full body health all play a role, too.

Find out why these other factors are so important for understanding your fertility, and to snag extra key insights on the Randox Health fertility health test, straight from their team

Over to Randox Health.

Check off these things, as part of your fertility MOT (beyond the classic ovarian reserve focus)

1. Hormonal health

Hormones are, of course, essential regulators of reproductive health, so assessing the whole picture is essential when we’re talking about fertility.

During each menstrual cycle, your hormone levels rise and fall, impacting various changes within your reproductive system. If any of these hormones are out of balance, it can lead to dysregulation of your menstrual cycle, which in turn can impact your fertility. 

Got low oestradiol? This may signal premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), affecting the frequency of your periods. On the flip side, high testosterone teamed up with a menstrual no-show could point to PCOS, a common fertility hurdle experienced by one in ten of us.

2. Thyroid health

Speaking of hormones, your thyroid gland regulates more than just your metabolism. Think heart rate, mood, and fertility too. 

When thyroid function is impaired, the effects can show up in your monthly menstrual cycle, from irregular and anovulatory cycles to experiencing different bleeding patterns – especially if it’s working on an underactive tempo, known as hypothyroidism

So, keeping tabs on your thyroid hormone levels is crucial, as having an undiagnosed and untreated underactive thyroid gland may make it more difficult to conceive. 

Similarly, it is important to check that treatment of any already diagnosed thyroid issues is working as it should, as undertreatment can also impact your fertility.

fertility mot blood count

3. Full blood count and iron status

A Full Blood Count is a key health screening tool, especially for spotting anaemia, where low red blood cell production can affect oxygen delivery, causing fatigue and weakness. 

Heavy periods increase the risk of iron deficiency, and it’s also common during pregnancy, so your risk should be assessed early to prevent complications further down the line. 

Conversely, you can also have too much iron! Some of us are genetically predisposed to absorbing too much from our diet. Iron accumulation in the pituitary gland may disrupt ovarian function, affecting your menstrual cycles and, though less common, impact your fertility. 

So, identifying and addressing iron imbalances is crucial if you’re planning to conceive.

4. BCA, heart health and diabetes health

Obesity, insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) and metabolic syndrome (where multiple risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes occur simultaneously) are commonly found in women who struggle to conceive. 

This is why understanding body composition and the risk of heart disease and diabetes through testing may help identify risk factors that could be modified, like excess body fat, high cholesterol and high blood sugar, and subsequently improve health generally and in relation to fertility. 

Also, women who are prediabetic, where blood sugars indicate an increased risk of diabetes, may be more likely to develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). Identifying warning signs before pregnancy can enable steps to be taken to reduce your risk.

5. Nutritional health and key vitamins

As you’ve probably heard time and time again, good nutrition is key to health – especially before (and during) pregnancy. 

Folic acid is especially important as it helps to prevent birth defects, and guidelines recommend that all women who are trying to conceive take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily until the 12th week of pregnancy. 

With Randox Health, assessing your nutritional health for fertility includes folic acid testing to ensure that levels are within a healthy range and to enable any underlying deficiency to be identified and corrected. Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D testing are also included, as deficiencies of both vitamins have been linked to fertility issues.

The best way to understand your fertility (and interpret your fertility MOT results) is in context 

Lifestyle, health and environment all impact your unique fertility profile, so getting a really thorough fertility MOT is the best way to get the full picture.

Want a comprehensive analysis of all these fertility-impacting factors in one? Make Randox Health’s Fertility Health Test your go-to. 

Not only does it measure your reproductive hormone levels and ovarian reserve, but it also delivers a complete picture of your overall hormonal health and well-being, measuring over 45 comprehensive data points to give you the clearest look at your fertility possible. 

Simply book your spot (get 10% OFF with code TRB10), choose a location and time that works for you, and you’ll get an easy-to-interpret fertility health report within 2-4 working days. You’re also able to book a follow-up consult if you’d like to chat with a doctor about your results.

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